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Summers Place Auctions are the world's leading auctioneers of Sculpture and Design for the House and Garden.

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This is Lot Number 7

A rare Coadestone armorial for the Founders Company

Estimated Price:
£6,000 - £8,000

Hammer Price:
£6,000

stamped Coade and Sealy, Lambeth, 1800
124cm.; 49ins high by 94cm.; 37ins wide by 33cm.; 13ins deep

Provenance: Most probably removed from the façade of the Founders Hall, London.

The Worshipful Company of Founders is one of the oldest Livery Companies of the City of London, and can trace its existence back to 1365. It was formed to protect the interests of its members and to promote high standards of quality and workmanship in articles of bronze and brass.

The first hall was built in 1531, when 18 members of the Company joined together to buy two houses and a garden in Lothbury and proceeded to build a Hall on a site which still bears the name of 'Founders' Court'. The Company was hard hit when the Hall, like so many others, was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and rebuilt at a heavy cost mainly borne by the Liverymen from their own pockets. Built in brick with a stone front it is almost certain that this armorial was a later addition to the Hall and would have been positioned at parapet height on the façade, in the same position as a royal coat of arms, supplied in many cases by Eleanor Coade, for businesses which had received a Royal Warrant to supply some commodity or service. It would have been removed when the hall was demolished in the 1840's to make way for a new Hall started in 1845.

This piece would have been an individual commission and incorporates the Founders Company coat of arms which show a laver or washing ewer flanked by candlesticks reflecting the Founders who in the early days of the guild worked in brass and brass alloys or tinplate known as 'Iatten' or 'laton', producing small cast articles.
The top of the armorial incorporates a flaming furnace including a crucible from which the molten brass would have been poured into moulds. The lower portion with the bronze mortars and dolphin handles together with chain shot cannonballs normally used in naval engagements for destroying rigging on enemy ships, were very topical given the date of 1800 on this piece, since Britain was engaged in a maritime duel with Napoleon's France for supremacy at sea which culminated in the battle of Trafalgar 5 years later in October 1805. The skill of the Coade modellers in faithfully reproducing in clay, the wooden carriage even down to the square iron strengthening plates and screws flanking the Coade stamp is testament to the quality to which Eleanor Coade aspired.

This unusual Coade commission represents an opportunity to acquire a unique example from the best of the 18th century manufacturers and a piece of social history from one of the oldest and most august of the historical Livery Companies of London.

This is Lot Number 7

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